Greg Mitchell has been a running coach almost as long as he has been a runner. He started coaching while he was a student teaching in 1995. Since then he has coached at both the high school and collegiate levels, as well as many post-collegiate and sub-elite individuals. Currently, he is the head cross country coach at Mountainside High School in Beaverton.

For an “old guy,” he has an impressive running resume. According to his Rose City Track Club bio (where he also coaches), Mitchell,

…was an all-state track competitor for Gresham High School and was a multiple-time conference champion and five-time national championship meet qualifier in cross country and track at Linfield College. More recently, Mitchell has asserted himself as a top-tier masters competitor. Since becoming a master in 2013, he has won 10 national titles in cross country and on the roads and set an American record on the track.

For his 40th birthday, Greg decided to take a stab at the Masters 20K record on the track. He gathered about 100 people at the Linfield Track and ran a 68:21 en-route to a new record! He is my new hero as I am quickly approaching the age of 40.

This episode of the Oregon Brewery Running Series Show is a little different than others we have done. Recently, I sat down with Mitchell at Lucky Lab and asked him to impart some running wisdom on all of us.

Faster Than You

The bulk of our conversation is an excerpt from a longer talk I heard Mitchell give a while back called, “Faster Than You.” The idea is that by following these five simple ideas, and some focused hard work, anybody can become faster than they think. This is relevant for new runners and seasoned vets alike.

Here is a summary of the five points:

  • THINK: What do I really want to accomplish and what am I willing to do to achieve it? What’s realistic to give up to reach your goals?
  • PLAN: How do you get to your goal? This could be a training plan or something else.
  • EQUIP: What will help you get there? We talk about shoes and other running gear, as well as recovery tools.
  • TRAINING: This is where you implement your plan. This could involve everything from actual running, nutrition, sleep, all of it.
  • RACE: The place you put your training on display. “It’s a great way to celebrate what you’ve done [in training].” It may not be a race, but something that helps you measure your desired outcome.

The Secret to Running, EXPOSED!

Mitchell also shared with me the secret to a lifetime of enjoyable running: consistency. “You have to get out the door and do it regularly and you have to do it over a long period of time. That’s the only real thing you need to know.

Learn from Other Runners

We’ve interviewed a bunch of different runners from Portland. Mark Remy and Liz Anjos both shared some simple tips that all runners can use to have more fun running, while Gleb Velikanov gave us some insight into the mind of an ultra marathoner. Dave Harkin, owner of Portland Running Company told us what he’s learned from helping thousands of new runners learn to love the sport.

Run with Us!

If you’d like to run with us, please join us at our next run! Register here and use code Greg5 to save $5. If you’d like to run for free, watch our lightning round on Facebook and see if there are any free entries left.

See you soon!